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Russia court extends pre-trial detention of Russian-American journalist until June 5 – JURIST

Apr 3, 2024 | Legal News | 0 comments

A Russian court in Kazan, Russia extended on Monday the pre-trial detention of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalist Alsu Kurmasheva until June 5. The court declined her petition to be moved to house arrest. This is the second time the court has extended her pre-trial detention.

According to RFE/RL, Kurmasheva told reporters before her court proceedings that she is detained in very poor living conditions with minimal access to healthcare, no access to hot water and a hole in the floor as a toilet. She also said that she is not physically well.

US Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller expressed concerns over Kurmasheva’s detention on Tuesday. He said, “The charges against [Kurmasheva] are just another sign of the weakness of Putin’s regime.” In addition, the National Press Club disagreed with the extension of Kurmasheva’s detention. It wrote:

Kurmasheva [told] reporters that she is “not very well physically” … [Her] horrific conditions could be eased if the State Department declares [her] “wrongfully detained” … We call on the State Department to take action and declare [her] “wrongfully detained”[.]

Kurmasheva is a Prague-based journalist for RFE/RL and she holds dual citizenship from both the US and Russia. Kurmasheva was initially detained in June 2023 while boarding a return flight from Russia to the Czech Republic. She was charged with violating a law on “foreign agents” and has been in Russian custody since October 18, 2023. The law requires individuals who receive support outside Russia or “under [the] foreign influence” of non-Russian parties to register with Russian authorities as “foreign agents”. She was also charged with “spreading falsehoods about the Russian military” under Articles 207.3 and 330.1 of the Criminal Code, which essentially criminalizes reporting on the Russian-Ukrainian war.

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